Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
Domestic Programs: Texas
A Randomized Study of the Management of School-Aged Children with Asthma Treated at Home and in a Large Urban School District
Dallas Independent School District Health Services
Rebecca Suzanne Medrano-Kubelka
"A Randomized Study of the Management of School-Aged Children with Asthma Treated at Home and in a Large Urban School District" was a collaborative study that targeted 3500 fourth, fifth and sixth grade students within 19 Dallas Independent School District elementary schools. These schools represented a predominantly lower socioeconomic Hispanic and African-American urban population.
The objective was to maximize educational opportunities for students with asthma through effective asthma management strategies.
Children were screened for asthma using a Respiratory Questionnaire and the standard Health History form used by the district. School nurses facilitated the process by sending forms home for parent completion within a week. Collaborating with Baylor Asthma and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center, parents of the children who screened positive for asthma were asked for permission to establish a definitive diagnosis using an Exercise Challenge Test that evaluated FEV1 and Peak Flow values before a 10 minute run/jog. The parents of the students diagnosed with asthma were then invited to a series of after school meetings to discuss enrollment into 1 of 4 randomized treatment arms. Asthma education followed using the American Lung Association's "Open Airways" curriculum with the students diagnosed with asthma and their families. Children were followed for five months and the school nurse collected data once monthly for the five months.
Of the 157 students who tested positive for asthma, 83 enrolled in the study. The outcome that reached significance was school absences. The program noted the rate of absenteeism to be the same for the student with asthma as compared to the student without asthma.
The study ended in 2003, but the program activities continue in the school district.
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